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Odysseus - The Epic Hero

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Marc Beauchamp Period 1 October 28, 2002 Odysseus: The Epic Hero Many great adventures have been passed down through time, whether it be by writings, or by word of mouth. Great tales have come in many forms as well, some as long, narrative poems, otherwise known as epics, and some simply written or told as a story. Several of these tales are about a hero and many of his adventures and ordeals. One of the most famous adventure stories of all time is Homer's The Odyssey. The story The Odyssey is about one man's journey home from battles at Troy and the challenges he must face. Through all these trials it's apparent that Odysseus, The Odyssey's main character, is in fact an epic hero. Odysseus is an epic hero for several reasons, the least of which being simply the fact that he is the hero of the epic. The epic itself revolves around the many perils Odysseus has to overcome. ...read more.


When he defeats others, he lets them know who he is. For instance, after blinding and tricking the Cyclops Odysseus says, "Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye" (908). To sum up, Odysseus is a very important figure, in many ways. Odysseus is a man of great stature. He is an incredibly large and strong individual. Penelope gives all the suitors the test of using Odysseus' hunting bow to shoot an arrow "through iron ax-helve sockets, twelve in line" (937). They all fail and none of them "can even bend [the hunting bow] enough to string it" (937). When Odysseus is given the test he "in one motion [strings] the bow. Then [slides] his right hand down the cord and [plucks] it, so the taut gut vibrating hummed and sang a swallow's note" (939). ...read more.


He finds ways to help his men as best he can. Even when he returns to his home in Ithaca twenty years later, many of his men still remember him and respect him. When his soldiers discover Odysseus has returned home, they "[throw] their arms around the old soldier, weeping, kissing his head and shoulders" (938). Finally, Odysseus is recognized as a very intelligent man by many people. The gods realize it enough to be willing to help him on his journey. It's apparent of this because Athena is the goddess of wisdom. To summarize, many of Odysseus' abilities are very useful and well respected by those around him. Odysseus' abilities, skills, importance, and wits make him an epic hero. He makes use of all his skills in order to overcome the hardships he must face. The great action in Odysseus' adventures make the story The Odyssey one of the most famous stories, or even pieces of literature of all times. To this extent, it's obvious why The Odyssey has been passed down through so many years and told in so many different forms. ...read more.

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